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Montreal art fanatics thrilled museums are reopening next week – Global News

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After being closed for the past few months in order to help curb the spread of COVID-19, museums and art galleries in Quebec are set to reopen as early as Feb. 8.

Montreal’s arts and culture industry, like many others, has been suffering because of the pandemic, and many Montrealers are ecstatic to get back to a more colourful life.

“When you go to a museum and look at a piece of art —  (to) have the emotion when you look at it, you can’t have it (digitally),” said Pascale Chassé, communications director at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA).

According to some experts, art is a form of therapy– especially in these difficult times.

“Unfortunately because of the pandemic this opportunity has been taken away from a lot of people that were able to relieve their stress or ground themselves through art making or art activities,” said Reyhane Namdari, therapist and founder of Montreal Art Therapy.

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“Arts is important and culture is important this is something a part of our life and our community and without that it’s like you miss something,” Chassé said.

Observing, enjoying and practicing art is known to reduce stress and anxiety.

“Research shows that a lot of people that have been hospitals or are homebound because of illnesses they find that they can ground themselves,” Namdari said.

Some feel the Quebec government hasn’t done enough to help the industry.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Quebec reopens non-essential businesses but curfew maintained | Globalnews.ca

“The government seems to think art is a luxury and there are more urgent to take care of but of course we all know especially in this kind of difficult times culture is really important,” art historian Itay Sapir said.

The MMFA says it can allow 135 visitors per hour in all four exhibitions. Tickets to the McCord, Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC) and MMFA will be available on its websites.

“(There will be an) online ticketing syste  because you have to reserve your place to come at the museum now,” Chassé said.

The MMFA’s permanent collections, however, will remain closed and some aren’t pleased.

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READ MORE: Kahnawà:ke community members find comfort in beading challenge – Montreal | Globalnews.ca

“There’s no access to these works at all. I myself have not seen any artwork from my own field in a year,” said Sapir, who teaches art history at L’Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM).

During the time museums were closed this year, some exhibitions were running out of time — the clock was ticking and many end dates were fast approaching.

The MMFA says it has done its best to keep the art-on-loan hanging on its walls for as long as it could through negotiations and solutions.

“Sometiems it’s not possible because the exhibition is going somewhere else, or the loan is not possible to extend or we have another exhibition that we have to open… And you know it’s very difficult,” Chassé said.

The museum of fine arts and the McCord are set to open on Feb. 11 and the MAC on the 10th.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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Storage As Art: The Best Pieces For Trying This Stunning Trend – The Zoe Report

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Storage products have exploded in the past few years, thanks to major proponents of organization like The Home Edit. At the same time, unique, artistic objects and vessels have become highly sought after in order to create an Instagrammable space. For the longest time, it seemed like you had to choose between the two — you could either create a sterile-but-tidy environment, or you could show off your personality. There was no in between. Fortunately, though, makers have realized that many people desire a balance of the two scenarios, and have turned to creating storage as art that helps keeps things in place while infusing style into the home.

One of the most recent examples of this was the collaboration between jewelry brand Mejuri and Claude Home, a contemporary vintage and furniture design company. Working together, the two recently came up with a buzzy set of trays that both hold accessories and act as objets d’art, effectively solidifying this merging of qualities as one of this year’s trends to know.

But, of course, these aren’t the only brands on board; plenty of other creators have been bringing storage and high design together for a while. And whether you’re looking for small products that will keep desk items in place or entire pieces of furniture made to store your stuff with serious style, they’ve pretty much created it all. Ahead, some of TZR’s favorite examples of the storage-as-art trend.

We at TZR only include products that have been independently selected by our editors. We may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

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Africa’s NFT Scene Is Booming – International Attention Could Take it to the Next Level – ARTnews

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Last November, Art X Lagos, West Africa’s biggest art fair, partnered with leading NFT platform SuperRare to host Reloading…, one of the first NFT exhibitions for African artists. Featuring artists from Nigeria, Morocco, South Africa, Senegal, and elsewhere, the show has been described by those in West Africa’s scene as a major milestone drawing international attention to what African digital artists are doing.

The show “brings so much liberty and independence to the artists, and really just opens up their options,” Tokini Peterside, founder of Art X Lagos, told Reuters at the time.

Meanwhile, in March, the Centre for Contemporary Art Lagos held an introductory digital workshop on NFTs, moderated by Tomiwa Lasebikan, co-founder of Buycoins Africa. A month later, the African Digital Art Network launched the NFT marketplace Nandi to, as co-founder Chinedu Enekwe told Decrypt, “build an ecosystem” that can “help brands and creators to get paid.”

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The buzz around Reloading …  and these other initiatives is reflective of the fact that cryptocurrencies and digital art already have a major presence in Nigeria and across Africa. And it is only getting bigger.

Between July 2020 and June 2021, Africa saw $105.6 billion in cryptocurrency payments, a roughly 1200 percent increase over the previous year, according to a March report by blockchain data platform Chainalysis. Meanwhile, Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa were all ranked in the top ten countries for crypto use.

But despite this seemingly wide crypto adoption, African digital art still has challenges to overcome.

Early last year, the Nigerian government banned banks and financial institutions from using cryptocurrencies, causing many Nigerians to empty their crypto wallets in a wave of panic. While Nigeria announced new rules earlier this month to ease the restrictions, over a dozen African countries still have full bans – including Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia.

The bans have handicapped the digital art ecosystems in those countries. While more tech-savvy Nigerians were able to get around the ban, Victor Ekwealor, a Nigerian tech journalist, told me, it prevented most from investing in crypto art in the months after. 

A silhouette of a man with an orange afro set against a peach backdrop and green branches.

“The Boys,” a 2022 NFT produced by Lagos-based multidisciplinary artist Taesirat Yusuf.
Taesirat Yusuf

A digitaTaelly painted image of a woman with dark skin and red hair wearing a green polka-dotted dress in a pink oval window surroundd by leaves on a green background.

“At Peace,” a 2021 NFT produced by Lagos-based multidisciplinary artist Taesirat Yusuf.
Taesirat Yusuf

“Many African artists market to me directly because there are not enough collectors to buy their art,” Daliso Ngoma, a South African NFT collector and founder of African Technopreneurs, told me.  

Similarly, Rodney Asikhia, the owner of Tribes Art Africa, a contemporary art gallery in Lagos, observed,“The rate of patronage of NFTs by African artists is relatively low when compared to the patronage of works by artists from elsewhere.” 

This problem arises because most collectors of digital art by African artists are Africans. And Africa simply does not have enough high net-worth investors to collect NFTs at competitive international prices that could sustain the larger ecosystem. More global acceptance and patronage of the works of these artists by international collectors would lead to the greater growth of digital art on the continent. 

Another obstacle to the ecosystem is the weak economies of African countries. Minting an NFT could cost anywhere from a few dollars up to several hundred, depending on gas fees – the fluctuating processing fee for crypto transactions – and the platform on which the digital work is minted. However, even just initializing your account will cost approximately $60-70 on most platforms, according to The Verge. In countries such as Nigeria or Kenya, where the minimum wage is approximately $100 – 130 per  month, many artists struggle to earn enough to mint their works. 

Artists like Osinachi, Young Kev, Kevin Kamau, and others agree that providing artists funds to mint their first NFTs would boost participation in the crypto space. Some artists have even taken it upon themselves to do so on an informal person-to-person basis, playing their part in making this field of blockchain assets expansive and inclusive.  

But while artists have provided support to each other, Africa’s NFT sector needs infrastructure comparable to the traditional art world. In that self-sustaining ecosystem, artists make work, gallerists and art dealers market and promote it, and collectors buy it. Meanwhile, art institutions exist to support, develop, and sustain artists as well as facilitate the growth and promotion of art. Introducing this high level of organization and functioning to the digital art space would help onboard more interested people, along with the experienced players, to grow and promote digital art across Africa.

The behind of a naked woman is pictured wearing multicolored waist beads.

“Mgbaji (Waist Beads),” a 2022 NFT created by Nigeria-based artist and designer Chuma Anagbado.
Chuma Anagbado

Two children are depicted sleeping next to each other, wearing multi-colored shirts against a line-drawing backdrop.

“Nne n’ Nwa (Mother & Child),” a 2022 NFT created by Nigeria-based artist and designer Chuma Anagbado.
Chuma Anagbado

Towards this end, Charles Mbata, a digital art collector and curator, and Chuma Anagbado, an artist and entrepreneur, are bringing together artists, enthusiasts, and cultural figures to build a crypto art community in Nigeria. 

One of their initiatives is the Nigeria NFT Community, which organizes programs and fosters collaborations between artists in the space to get recognition by a wider, more global audience. Through a collection like Ape of Lagos, the community aimed to spotlight African artists creating NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain. They also organized 3rd Dimension, a virtual reality exhibition for Nigerian digital creators. A similar forthcoming exhibition is Metanoia, which will be held in New York, Nairobi, and Lagos. Other communities like Africa NFT Community, Black NFT Art, and Network of African NFT artists have filled similar roles, helping artists garner more sales, exhibitions and critical engagement. These communities have also facilitated training and information dissemination to artists and other creatives interested in NFTs.

People have often talked about how the NFT craze is driven by money and not the quality of the art. There is some validity to that opinion. It is undeniable that Beeple’s $69.3 million NFT sale at Christie’s and Osinachi’s NFTs achieving prices of $80,000 have created investment interest for collectors and hopes of a goldrush for artists.

But there are African creatives who are interested in doing serious work with NFTs. Nigerian graphic designer Mayowa Alabi, also known as Shutabug, said in an interview earlier this year that he wants his digital art to tell a larger story. Johannesburg-based art director Fahtuwani Mukheli, believes NFTs level the international playing field and give African artists access to audiences they may otherwise not have had access to. In an interview with TRT World, he said that NFTs “make us [African artists] compete completely with everyone at the same time in the world.”  

This expanded access and reach have convinced many African artists and art world professionals that it is therefore important to pay attention to the kinds of art they put out in the world – art that seriously engages with African reality and identity. 

The digital art ecosystem in Africa can yet experience more growth if  more is done to overcome the challenges it currently faces.

While there may not be immediate solutions to difficult home economies or unfavorable crypto laws, we can provide education to expand understanding of the space, develop infrastructure to onboard and diversify collectors, and to provide artists training on how to position their work for the ever-evolving market, while improving their artistic vision.

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North Bay news: Gallery in South River features sound art display | CTV News – CTV News Northern Ontario

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An art gallery in South River, south of North Bay, is taking a different approach to everyday sounds.

A new display captures sound through interactive sound art.

When you turn the crank on a refurbished circular ball machine, steel balls whiz about and orbit until they fall into the hole where they hit a microphone which activates a sound system.

It’s one of two new pieces at New Adventures in Sound Art, a gallery dedicated to sound and media art.

“We are interested in things that use electronics and interactivity, and also acoustic sounds. About twenty years ago, there were very few opportunities for presenting artwork with sound,” said Darren Copeland of New Adventures in Sound Art

The gallery worked with Ottawa-based artist and composer, Jesse Stewart, and colleague, Matt Edwards, to bring in two new interactive displays called Orbits and Gong Show.

“With sound art, a lot of this work is about challenging the dominance of sight and visual communication,” said sound artist Jesse Stewart.

Gong Show features three gongs hung from the gallery and an iPad in the window.

The gongs play sounds when someone walks in front of the iPad’s motion tracker system, prompting mechanical strikers to strike the gongs.

“These pieces encourage listening, a sense of wonder or discovery, so we don’t just hear with our ears. We also hear with our bodies,” said Stewart

Since 2001, new adventures in sound art began with year-round programming and sound performances in Toronto.

In 2017, it relocated to South River.

“This year, we’re focussing on alternative ways of making music, using your body and moving around, and other projects we have that use the body as a way of listening.”

The two outdoor exhibits will be on display until September 26th…

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